I’m in. I’ve never joined a political party before but the shambles of the referendum and hideousness of the debate from both sides has persuaded me that politics is far too important to leave to politicians. You seem like the least politician like one of the lot, and actually interested in democracy so I’m behind you all the way.
In the interest of sharing and democracy these are some of ideas I have to make better use of technology that has already been invented that could help to bring about a more environmentally friendly, healthy, fairer and less divided society.
Education: I will not be sending my daughter to private school. Not because I can lay claim to any principles, or because on a more practical level I cannot afford to, or because I intend to join a bumfight to get into a good schools catchment area when we return to the UK, but because the internet has been invented. Any subject that she is struggling with or interested in beyond what is taught in the classroom, she can find out about on the internet. Yes, I will need to supervise her to make sure she uses it safely and doesn’t waste too much time watching cat videos, and I’m going to need to teach her how to evaluate the quality of the information that she finds, but I’m going to have to do these things anyway.
In the age of the internet, which allows virtually free access to the sum total of civilisations knowledge thus far why should anyone pay for private education? And why hasn’t state education (including university education) been overhauled to take advantage of its benefits?
Transport: To improve air quality traditional cars (both petrol and diesel versions being incredibly impressive mobile pollution machines) could be phased out and replaced with giant, electric cars that are able to transport hundreds of people. These new fangled vehicles could be called ‘trams’. As they could travel along tracks in set directions, they could even potentially be made driverless whilst still maintaining safety.
Energy: The electricity these new ‘trams’ are powered by should come from renewable energy. So, a thought experiment if you will: What if an oil company were to discover an oil field that was very expensive to access, but contained an infinite supply of oil. Would they drill? I think they would have the following qualms: If the supply is infinite, won’t the price of oil tend to zero? How would I recoup my investment in getting it out? What would it do to the profitability of all my other oil wells? If everyone knows its an infinite supply wouldn’t they get a bit antsy about a corporation declaring control over it? I think they would then pretend they had never found it, and make sure nobody else could. Which pretty much seems to be our attitude to renewable energy as generated ultimately by the sun which guarantees an almost infinite supply (4-5 billion years). Economic modelling can’t handle disruptive technology or the concept of an infinite supply (infinite growth of demand being the lifeblood of our economy) so pricing renewable energy so that it is comparable to oil or gas when we are planning to frack even Yorkshire, is an impossibility.
We therefore need to stop waiting to invest in renewable energy until it makes economic sense, because it never will in the current way our economy is structured. From an environmental and subsequently health perspective, and to create local jobs (as by its nature renewable energy technology needs to be suited for specific local conditions and geography and installed on a smaller, more decentralised local scale than conventional power generation) and energy security stand point however, investing fully in renewable energy makes sense. As a bonus it could save us from further climate change related disasters like flooding, and we could stop getting involved in wars in the middle east over oil, saving countless lives. We could then reimagine our economy based on an infinite source of energy by agreeing as a society to do so. (Far easier said than done obviously, and will probably involve the erasure of debts and creation of a universal wage, but the current way forward of drilling and fracking up the world as its the ‘economically literate’ thing to do and then reimagining our planet is suicidal) .